Drinking cocktails under the sparkling chandeliers of the magnificent Brown Palace Hotel last night at the Sourcebooks Author Reception reminded me of the advantages of being an author. Not only do I get to spend most of my time in a fictional world; I get a few perks in the real world, too!

It feels good to start up my writing career again after a few hard years. Through cancer, chemo, and a series of family and health setbacks, I never stopped writing, but an author can’t have a career if she can’t make promises and meet deadlines. Reliability is as important to a writing career as creativity. (Remember that, Grasshopper!)

I turned in my new book, working title Cowboy Summer, last month. That was Step One of my journey back into the publishing world.

Step two was the Romance Writers of America conference in Denver. I didn’t attend the whole event–that’ll happen next year–but I stopped by yesterday to visit with the amazing Carolyn Brown and her husband Charles. Carolyn has been my mentor, guide and guardian angel ever since I first signed on with Sourcebooks, and she’s still an inspiration. I’m honored to call her a friend, and boy, did it feel good to sit down and talk! She and I never run out of things to say. Of course, Carolyn alone never runs out of things to say, as evidenced by the number of books she’s written! If you haven’t experienced her unique brand of humor and romance, you’re missing out. 

In the evening, I attended  the Author Reception for Sourcebooks, and got to meet some of my publisher’s most sensational authors. I was so happy to see a familiar face right away–the dynamic Sara Humphreys, who still gives off a happy energy that brightens any room. Naturally, she was chatting and making videos while she made everyone feel welcome.

Sara was sitting with Samantha Chase,  who writes contemporary romance. I’m kind of ashamed I haven’t read any of Samantha’s books yet; they look like just my cup of tea, and I’ll remedy that situation as soon as I can.

I really enjoyed meeting the amazing Kari Lynn Dell, who is the most authentic writer out there when it comes to cowboy life, and has the bruises to prove it! Living up in Northern Montana on a ranch, she has a belt buckle collection that proves her prowess at riding and roping, and she’s a marvelous writer, too.

Authenticity seems to be a key concept at Sourcebooks these days. Take Katie Ruggle, for example. Among other things, she’s a police academy graduate and certified ice diver. Her romantic suspense stories include a K-9 series that’s next on my reading list.

I was really excited to meet Linda Broday, a true queen of the Western genre. Naturally, I’m envious of her ability to bring the historical West to life, and boy am I looking forward to her next series! It involves outlaws, and we all love the bad boys, right?

There were so many other interesting authors there I was able to speak to only briefly, but the highlight of the evening was seeing my editor, Deb Werksman and the rest of the creative team from Sourcebooks. It’s been much too long since I was immersed in the publishing world, and it feels really good to be back. I’m looking forward to an exciting re-release of my first book, Cowboy Trouble, in 2019, as well as the publication of  my latest cowboy romance. And I’m working hard to keep the books coming now that I’m able to keep my promises, meet my deadlines, and hopefully keep my readers happy!